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By: Prof. Dr. Mohsen Mohammad Saleh.

The reported resignation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) government in Ramallah is seen as a response either to “international will” or, alternatively, to Western US pressures aiming to “restructure” or “revitalize” the PA. This realignment is intended to bring it in line with US standards in its approach to managing the Gaza Strip (GS), alongside the West Bank (WB), in the post-GS war arrangements. This development has occurred amid US efforts to persuade Israelis to accept the Ramallah PA for the governance of GS. Israel, meanwhile, continues to seek standards of greater submission and cooperation than those practiced by the PA; it seeks “agents of occupation” who will adhere to its directives. If true, this would signify a disregard for the intellect and a degradation of the dignity of the Palestinian people.

The resignation submitted by Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh to President ‘Abbas on 26/2/2024, and subsequently, accepted by ‘Abbas, occurred, without prior national consensus. It preempted internal Palestinian discussions among factions and paved the way for the imposition of a fait accompli for the “thousandth time,” perpetuating the pursuit of illusory US-Israeli “carrot.” This premature move that disregards also Hamas and the resistance forces (which continue to engage in valiant battles and demonstrate extraordinary resilience), signifies nothing but disdain for the Palestinian people’s collective will. It hints at preparations for governing GS post-Hamas era, aligning with aspirations that intersect with American-Israeli interests.

It seems that despite the powerful performance of the resistance in Operation al-Aqsa Flood, along with its strikes on October 7, which shattered Israel’s security theory, as well as the brutality of the Israeli aggression with its bloodshed and massacres resulting in the killing and injury of over a hundred thousand Palestinians… and the Palestinian people’s unified support for the resistance, the loss of trust in the PA, and the widespread popular demand for ‘Abbas’ resignation… none of these has convinced ‘Abbas, the Fatah leadership and the PA to reconsider their approach in managing the domestic national agenda, relinquish their grip on power, and genuinely engage with active Palestinian factions to restructure the Palestinian political house.


There is no problem with the formation of a government through either national consensus or a technocratic approach post-war. However, it must genuinely reflect Palestinian consensus among active factions, serving as a true “national endeavor” embodying Palestinian popular will and independent decision-making. It should align with the conditions, aspirations and trajectories of the liberation project, without becoming a new model for perpetuating the dominance of the current PA and Fatah leadership or conforming to US and Israeli agendas.

If ‘Abbas proceeds to appoint a new prime minister and establish a technocratic government without genuine Palestinian consensus with Hamas and the resistance factions, it would indicate a departure from ground realities and authentic popular sentiment. Such actions might function as cosmetic changes to uphold ‘Abbas and Fatah’s control while delaying necessary reforms for rebuilding the Palestinian political house on solid foundations. This approach may not achieve genuine “Palestinian legitimacy,” but instead seeks to garner legitimacy from the US, Israel and normalizing Arab states. Consequently, it appears as another attempt to evade the underlying crisis, perpetuating a cycle of turmoil. It would be akin to the ostrich seeking horns but returning without ears!!


The candidate proposed for the position of prime minister to lead the technocratic government is Mohammad Mustafa, a Palestinian economic expert. However, the way his nomination is presented reflects badly on him before it does on others; the prevailing criterion is his acceptability to Israel, the US and the West. This standard is demeaning to him and detrimental to the Palestinian people, their struggle, their heroism and the realities borne out of Operation al-Aqsa Flood. The proper approach should be to state that he is accepted by the main Palestinian factions (Fatah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, etc.) or that he enjoys popular acceptance. However, portraying him as a suitable candidate to oversee GS, prepared to adhere to the conditions for eliminating Hamas, targeting its infrastructure and military apparatus, and deploying forces facilitated by Ramallah to suppress resistance and engage in security coordination with Israel… is unacceptable both nationally and morally, and lacks popular support. We anticipate Mohammad Mustafa to decline the appointment unless it aligns with a comprehensive and previously agreed-upon national consensus framework.

Technocratic governments are not always an ideal or appealing solution, especially in the Palestinian context, where polarization is intense, and where technocrats often serve as a front for the factions and entities that nominate and endorse them. Therefore, the formation of such governments should be based on precise and transparent criteria, agreed upon by all parties, and should be guided by the implementation of a national agenda that prioritizes the genuine aspirations and free will of the Palestinian people.

The attempt to establish a technocratic government under Salam Fayyad’s leadership in 2007 was deemed a “miserable” experiment. It functioned as a tool wielded by ‘Abbas, with US and Israeli approval, aimed at eradicating Hamas and resistance forces in WB. Additionally, it involved training individuals within a battalion known as “Dayton’s baby,” part of the security coordination apparatus with the occupation, ultimately worsening divisions among Palestinians.


Finally, Operation al-Aqsa Flood has yielded significant realities and obligations, notably enhancing the Palestinian people’s determination to liberate their land and determine their destiny, along with bolstering global solidarity around these objectives. Therefore, it is neither reasonable nor conceivable for the PA to form a government more submissive to US and Israeli occupation demands, ensuring the latter’s own survival, instead of investing in resistance performance and achievements, and popular steadfastness and sacrifices. It is unacceptable for the PA to betray its own people, turning its back on their sacrifices, siding with the wrong side and going against the flow of history.

Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, 2/3/2024

The opinions expressed in all the publications and studies are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of al-Zaytouna Centre.

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